Juliet Lubega

Only Once

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Lusse put his hand on the silver plated handle and pressed it down slowly. It stopped and squeaked,  it was locked. With a squint in his left eye, he bent his head to look into the key hole, the key was sitting there, quiet like a stubborn child on a naughty step and oblivious to what had just happened. It stood between them.

He just wanted that opportunity to look into her eyes and say “sorry”. He knew it was just a word but he had to say it before he proved it. Sweat trickled down behind his right ear. He felt like his world had collapsed around him.

“Open the door please, Regina let me explain”, he shouted. He usually called her Reggie ,but today was not the day.

He pulled out a bunch of keys from his left trouser pocket. His bedroom ,office and car keys bundled up and hanging on football key ring .They stared back at him, blank and useless.

………………………………………………………………………………………………….

“We will continue this story tomorrow Anika” as she closed the book. She tucked Anika into her bed. Checked on Tomasi and Tayira, they were fast asleep. She walked to the bedroom window, separated the dolphin patterned curtains and looked outside. The sky was clear and stars twinkling brightly. She looked at her garden, all the flowers and bushes neatly arranged around the grass centre. She wished her life was as neat.

She had spent the whole day planning how she was going to confront him. She will not tell him as soon as he came home. At dinner she will pretend that everything was alright. Once the children were asleep, then she will ask him in a soft voice.

She remembered the  anger in the  woman’s voice on the phone. ”I am sorry to tell you that your husband made my 16 year old daughter pregnant. I will make sure he meets all his responsibilities”.

She glanced at Anika drifting off to sleep, her thumb in her mouth sucking for comfort. After closing the door slowly, she walked down the stair case, negotiating every step carefully to avoid making noise.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

In the lounge she sat in grey armed chair and looked intently at her husband, who was watching a wildlife programme on TV. The tall, elegant giraffes were eating leaves on top of a tree. Their brown patterned bodies looked like floor tiles. Unlike them, the man she once adored now looked like log in front of her.

 “Do you want me to change the channel darling? Lusse asked.

Feeling the warmth of the liquid as her eyes filled up with tears, she bit her lips and shook her head.

“What is the matter?” he asked.

“So is the baby yours?” she asked.

“Which baby, what are you talking about? He replied

“I am not having a row with you .Just tell me the truth. Her mother phoned me today”

He looked on speechless, his mouth parting slowly to say something only to close it moments later. It had not occurred to him that, the one time he cheated on his wife would result into a pregnancy.

“I have only slept with one girl, once”

“Therefore that makes it alright”

“No it doesn’t, but considering that our neighbour Kizito has three children from other women outside his marriage. I haven’t done too badly” he replied laughing.

She stood up and tightened her wrapper around her waist.

“Did you listen to yourself saying that?” pointing her index finger to his face.

His eyes dropped, “Sorry”

“She is sixteen, you fool” Regina shouted as she made her way up the stairs into their bedroom.

©Juliet Lubega (unpublished 2013)

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Author: lubega1

Among other things an aspiring UK based African writer with particular interest in African/Western cultural divide..

3 thoughts on “Only Once

  1. the imagery is very touching, Juliet.

    Like

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